Bike friendly cities UK and Europe
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It’s been a mixed bag here in Notts weather wise of late, but incredibly, we’re nearly at the end of March already. Finally, there is some colour starting to creep back into the garden and I’m starting to get my cycling mojo back!

Summer may still seem a little way off, especially with the adverse weather conditions of late – we have after all had wind, sleet and 15 degrees of sunshine all within the space of the last couple of weeks – but it will soon be time to start planning those summer trips away. Although exploring your chosen holiday location by foot can be fun, taking in the sights from your saddle is just that little bit more enjoyable – and a lot less tiring for your feet too!

For those of us who favour a more active break, there are a whole host of gorgeous UK and European bike friendly cities that would be the perfect destination for any avid cyclist. Whilst London and Amsterdam spring to mind as the obvious choices – although quite frankly, the thought of cycling in London scares the life out of me – there are more hidden cycling gems dotted around the UK and Europe than you’d think. If you’re planning your perfect summer getaway then here are a few bike friendly cities to consider for your travels:

Oxford and Cambridge

OK, so perhaps mentioning two cities in one may be cheating a little, but it goes without saying that Oxford and Cambridge go hand in hand. World famous universities aside, the pair are home to pretty cobbles, an abundance of history and plenty of charming pubs to play host to those much needed pit-stops. And there’s the classic Oxford to Cambridge 90 mile bike ride that you could always do as part of your trip if you fancied a sportive to get those legs going.

Copenhagen

As the capital of Denmark, it would be easy to assume that Copenhagen was as traffic heavy as let’s say, London, however, Copenhagen is relatively unpolluted thanks to almost 32 per cent of locals cycling to and from work. In fact Copenhagen is one of the best cities in the world to be a cyclist. With stunning harbour front views, an array of spectacular architecture and castles-a-plenty, it welcomes cyclists from all across the globe!

Berlin

The stylish German capital of Berlin is favoured for its balance of old and new, combining history, culture, sights and techno perfectly. Over the last couple of years Berlin has enjoyed a cycling boom with miles of new cycle paths. Aside from the obvious (but must-see) Berlin wall, there are plenty of flat roads and cycle lanes that mean you can take in the city with ease. Notable highlights are the Grunewald forest, obligatory 4-shot photobooths and the Potsdamer Platz.

Helsinki

Helsinki is the harbourside capital of Finland, sitting aside the breathtaking Gulf of Finland and offers green parks, bustling markets and an eclectic mix of historical and contemporary architecture. Sightseeing on two wheels is largely encouraged and you can even hire a true 1960’s vintage cycle on which to take in the sights.

There’s a lot of fun to be had touring around on a bike. Wherever you choose to go it’s usually easy enough to hire a bike but there really is nothing quite like having the comfort and fit of your own bike to adventure on. Taking your own bike abroad couldn’t be simpler. What is important is to invest in a bike you can rely on to last the full extent of your trip.

We’re still mulling over where to venture to this summer with our bikes, but we’re fairly certain a city bike break sounds like something fun to do. I have my sights set on a new bike in 2015, hopefully in a month or two, and frankly I can’t think of a nicer way to start our adventures together.

Where are you heading?
Do you have any recommendations for cycling city breaks? Or any plans to head away with your bike this year?

 

 

 

26 comments on “Bike Friendly Cities – The UK and Europe Edition”

  1. European cities often leave us behind in terms of cycling paths etc. I’ve been to Berlin, but not recently and I’d like to go again.

  2. I’ve not been to Helsinki but I must say I was pretty impressed by the cycling in Berlin and Copenhagen but not as much as Amsterdam where EVERYONE is on bikes. I’m not quite brave enough to cycle though 🙂 x

    • Cycling in a city you’re not familiar with can be daunting but I think there are lots of good options out there in Europe that are more catered to cyclists and cycle friendly than we have here in the UK.

  3. I can’t remember the last time I rode a bike – I hope I still can! I used to love bike rides, hopefully we’ll go out as a family this summer 🙂

    • You’ll be surprised Michelle. I hadn’t been on a bike for nearly 20 years when I first got back on a couple of years ago. It really is true what they say…’it’s like riding a bike!’

  4. Whenever I go to Paris and the weather is ok I always hire one of their cycle share scheme bikes, the Velib. They work in the same way as the Boris Bikes in London. You can go to a machine and do a 24hr hire for 1 or 2 euros. The first half-hour is free, and the bikes have a basket on the front to carry your things. Loads of people in Paris are on them, and routes to get to different well known places are signposted specially for bicycles. For example, I was able to ride from St Michel to Bastille, all signposted on quiet streets. It was really fun.

  5. Great article! By the way, Rotterdam is also a very nice city for bikers. Do you have a list for the bike-friendly cities in the US?! I guess there would be some nasty surprises 🙂

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